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War hero Max Cleland to launch Georgia Literary Festival
Former senator to discuss his book Heart of a Patriot
Festival Logo for web

When keynote speaker Max Cleland takes the stage at the Georgia Literary Festival Saturday, he'll start a page-turner of a day for readers, writers, and lovers of Georgia literature.

The festival, which takes place at Georgia Southern's Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education Building from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., features 25 Georgia authors discussing their work. The event is free and open to the public.

Cleland is a decorated veteran who lost both legs and his right hand while serving in Vietnam. In his book "Heart of a Patriot," he recounts overcoming his struggle with the pain, depression and frustration of his devastating injuries to devote his life to public service.

Cleland writes about finding strength from fellow veterans as a crucial part of his recovery and the reason he's fought for them all his career, first as youngest director of the Veterans Administration and then as a U.S. Senator, forging a bipartisan alliance with five other Senate Vietnam vets. Cleland was also an outspoken member of the 9/11 Commission and today is secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The Library Journal calls "Heart of a Patriot" "Intensely honest and personal . . . Inspirational." Roll Call adds that it is "a powerful testament to one veteran's struggles and successes... A classic American triumph."

Attendees at the all-day Literary Festival can then enjoy 24 other Georgia authors of adult and children's books. Featured presenters include legendary southern storyteller Ferrol Sams, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey, renowned Civil War novelist Philip Lee Williams, award-winning sci-fi author Jack McDevitt, and New York Times best-selling children's author and illustrator Nate Evans.

The Georgia Literary Festival, held in a different city each year, is sponsored by the Statesboro Regional Library and Georgia Southern University. Initial funding is provided by the Georgia Humanities Council through the Georgia Center for the Book.


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